Lightweight Door Core Options

Suggestions for core material for lightweight veneered cabinet doors. July 28, 2006

I need to produce about 30 cabinet doors approximately 28"W x 84"H x 1 1/8" thick. The doors will be veneered on both faces and all edges and are hung edge to edge, so they need to be flat and stable. They will also be hung on euro hinges and need to be light. I've considered wood frames with paper honeycomb cores and 1/4" MDF or plywood skins. I'm having a hard time finding paper honeycomb readily available, and not having done this before, I am uncertain whether the panels will stay flat. I'm up for other ideas for a light, stable panel (if there is such a thing). Any advice would be helpful.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From contributor P:
You can make a grid core out of 1/2" plywood and skin it with 1/4" MDF. I have done this with the ribs on 3" centers with success, but veneer the MDF prior to gluing it to the cores (if you are bagging it) as the vacuum can collapse the MDF at that spacing, and also make sure that you fill in any areas you will need to drill into for hinges, knobs, etc. Edging can be thin solid wood.

From contributor J:
I have done a lot of torsion boxes like contributor P suggests, but for weight and time, you really can't beat the honeycomb core. If your press is flat, your panels will be flat. I get mine from Vacuum Pressing Systems. Make sure that you read and follow the directions for using the honeycomb.

From contributor D:
Try Lite-Ply.

From contributor R:
Lumber core may be available in species you need. If not, just lay veneer up yourself.

From contributor S:
I use plascore. Great stuff for bent lamination, too.